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Survival of Trees

National Science Foundation, NBC Learn, Science 360 Network

In this video a scientist explains how DNA extracted from ancient tree remains provides insights about how trees/plants have adapted, over time, to changes in CO2 in the atmosphere. Her lab research investigates changes in plant genotypes under experimental conditions that simulate potential changes in CO2 levels in the future.

Video length: 5:22 minutes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Could be used in a biology or Earth science class.
  • Educators can bring out the scientific method and how it is being applied to study past, present, and future.

About the Science

  • Dr. Ward studies how rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be impacting trees around the world, even causing them to adapt. By looking at tree specimens from the Ice Age, Ward is able to see how trees in the past have adapted, helping her to understand how trees may adapt today and in the future.
  • Comment from expert scientist: Good explanation of the techniques used in this form of chrono-analysis of tree rings, capturing the genetic component as well. Also goes into why CO2 might have a strong influence on tree populations - a good concept to include.

About the Pedagogy

  • This video can be embedded into a discussion about paleoclimatology and how it is done, but most importantly how species' adaptations in the past can help scientists to predict their ability to adapt in the future.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video quality is good enough for projection.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

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